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General Plan Update - Proposed M-2 Area Zoning; Master Planned Projects and FAR Aggregation

From: Fergus O'Shea <"Fergus>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2016 18:25:18 +0000

Mayor Cline and Members of the City Council
City of Menlo Park
701 Laurel Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025

RE: Proposed M-2 Area Zoning; Master Planned Projects and FAR Aggregation

Dear Mayor Cline and Members of City Council,

On behalf of Facebook, we want to acknowledge the hard work put in by staff and the community over the course of the last year and half into the ConnectMenlo process. Although a number of challenges remain, we believe that this is an important step in promoting the development of new housing, public amenities and infrastructure improvements in the M2. We therefore encourage the Council to move forward with adopting the General Plan Update.

Substantively, we would like to address one issue raised in the staff report related to FAR (or “Floor Area Ratio”) aggregation for larger sites, and express our support for staff’s recommendation. Throughout the community outreach process, we have encouraged flexibility in the draft zoning to allow creative site-specific and context-sensitive planning and better design, particularly for the Prologis site. We raised this issue before the Planning Commission, and the Commission graciously directed staff to work with Facebook on specific language that would allow the aggregation of FAR, unit density, and open space across the Prologis site. We believe this is necessary because the Prologis site, as envisioned in the zoning map, is divided into two different zoning designations by a somewhat arbitrary line, and this division may not exactly correspond to a future master plan for the site.

As explained in the staff report, staff has now included language in the proposed zoning to accommodate “Master Planned Projects” for large sites held in common ownership, such that densities, land uses, and FAR could be considered in the aggregate as part of a comprehensive master planning process. This zoning designation is common in California for large projects involving a mix of uses, which are sometimes called “Planned Unit Developments” or “Urban Planned Developments.” Due to the unique size and vision for the Prologis site, we believe that it is appropriate to include the language proposed by staff to accommodate a comprehensive planning process for the Prologis site.

We appreciate all of your time and commitment to the Connect Menlo process and look forward to working with the City and our neighbors to deliver on the vision for the M-2 area.

Fergus O’Shea
Director of Campus Facilities
Facebook, Inc.
Received on Tue Nov 15 2016 - 10:32:21 PST

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